SOL16, Day 29: I Write to Hold On

I’m a witness. It lingers. And I want to hold it.

He leans over to give her a kiss. She touches his face and asks, “How are you?”

An image I’ve seen again and again. Memory.  I follow. Words appear and disappear. Some survive the backspace, the cut and paste. Others don’t.

I see them reflected in the nurse’s eyes that well up as she tells the story of her family. She looks on with envy as they join us. 

My thoughts diverge.

Medicines, special diets, monitor and maintain. Be vigilant. The job is complex. Frightening.They refuse to give in.

I change the tense. The sequence. The point of view.
Perhaps a dip to the past;
a closer look at the present.

They sit reading. The view from the backyard spills into the living room. Mom reads aloud; makes a joke, talks politics. Dad continues to read. This is how it’s always gone. For them. It’s impossible to imagine anything else.

What was said?
What did I see?

A bird lit on the wire. Mom grabs her bird book.

“It must be a scrub jay. Such a lowly name for such a lovely bird. Oh look another! See it on the wire above? They have made our garden their home. I could sit here any watch them all day.”

Dad gets up to check on something in the bedroom.

Ah yes. Or no. Does this fit?
Not quite.
Delete. Rearrange.
In the end, I hold on to a tiny bit of time.

Their lives go on. Fears quiet with the simple peace within.  

I write to capture the moment; to look back. As I do with the pictures in my hallway of times long ago, but so clear in my memory of what matters. I write to hold on. Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for the March Slice of Life Challenge. We write, holding on together. Read more slices here.11454297503_e27946e4ff_h


15 thoughts on “SOL16, Day 29: I Write to Hold On

  1. I read this a few times, just to make sure I saw what was going on between your parents, and how you are still processing it, sifting the grains to keep the best bits and throw the unnecessary away–that’s what editing is, isn’t it? I wrote about why I write this month, too, and am grateful for whatever time I have to process my days, my feelings, my relationships, my world. Great slice, and enjoy the last few days!

  2. I read this tearfully. Your process writing this is contemplative and moving. Writing to “hold on” — what a perfect way to articulate what you’re doing. I love this slice.

  3. This is so beautiful. Lucky you to be witness to such love. Thank you for sharing and reminding us to use our writing to hold on.

  4. Such tenderness with the words to preserve these moments. You are gifted in writing, but blessed to have witnessed such love with your parents.

  5. A beautifully crafted piece, poetry, about life and love and writing. Noticing and capturing the subtle things like the bird and the kiss. Bless you in this difficult yet sweet time.

  6. Those moments do flutter in and out, and you have captured the way they do, Julieanne. It is not all that happens, but enough to keep the words as reminder. This, this is the way it was. Love your attention to the essence of a life.

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